Monday June 06, 2022

How Harry Styles concerts are healing my inner child

How Harry Styles concerts are healing my inner child

Harry Styles

When people ask me why on earth I would spend £390 on Harry Styles tickets for his Wembley Arena shows in June, I fight the urge to tell them that they just couldn’t possibly understand.

After watching Styles through my phone and computer screens, with smashing performances at Coachella and Radio 1’s Big Weekend in the last few weeks, I feel even more excited at finally seeing him live after all these years.

If you dedicated many of your teenage years to One Direction like me, but missed out on the chance of going to their concert, then you might just know how I feel. I remember sitting in front of the TV at the tender age of 11, watching Simon Cowell and his fellow X-Factor judges form the boyband in 2010. I secretly used our home landline phone to vote for them every week and was overcome by emotion when they came in just third place. After that, I eagerly anticipated their debut single, What Makes You Beautiful, listened to every song on their album, watched every vlog and followed every Twitter account related to the boys. Like millions of other teenage girls around the world, I fell hard for One Direction.

The band has now been split up for longer than they were together. I have to admit, I am and always has been a Zayn Malik girl, as he was one of the very few fellow Pakistanis I saw represented in mainstream media, and I enjoyed his R&B style of music the most.

But I’ve always had a soft spot for Harry. Arguably the most commercially successful member of the boyband, Styles has won award after award, and has a fully-fledged fanbase of his own. His most recent album, Harry’s House, is no less of an achievement. The upbeat tracks feel like an ode to his One Direction days, and when he announced he was touring the UK again for the first time since 2019, I jumped at the chance to get tickets. Despite trying multiple times, I never had the chance to see One Direction live, and most definitely envy those who did. From not having enough money to lacking the expert knowledge needed to navigate Ticketmaster’s ever-crashing website, I always felt a little sad that I never saw one of my favourite boybands perform. I’m also particularly jealous of those who got the see Australian boyband 5 Seconds of Summer when they were their support act — if you know, you know.

Now, as Harry’s UK dates fast approach, where he will be performing not one album but two (he hasn’t yet toured for his second album, Fine Line, here), I know that my 14-year-old self is thanking me profusely. Two of my closest childhood friends (who I split the hefty price of tickets with) and I will be singing our hearts out at Wembley Stadium to Styles’s recent hits as well as his most-popular One Direction singles, just like we always wanted to do when we were teenagers — and I cannot wait.

I have no shame in admitting that if One Direction were to announce a reunion right now, I would probably stop whatever I was doing, let out a scream and cry literal tears at the news. If Zayn Malik ever decides to do a solo tour, my reaction would be much the same. But for now, I’m relishing in the opportunity to see Styles live — like I have wanted to do for 10 long years. Meanwhile, Harry Styles recently played to a sold-out crowd at London’s O2 Academy Brixton and the singer halted the gig to help a fan in distress.  Styles, who draped a Ukrainian flag over his microphone stand, asked fans if they could “split, make a pathway down, please”, and addressed the rest of the crowd, saying: “Everyone else good? You OK? We’re going to keep going if everyone feels good.”

Just under 5,000 fans flocked to the South London venue to take in the barnstorming performance, as Styles treated his supporters to a number of songs from his latest album “Harry’s House,” as well as his 2020 hit ‘Watermelon Sugar’, among others, reports


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